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Old 3 Jan 17, 12:01 PM  
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GopherLass
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You Used a Snack Credit on a COKE? - WDW, Universal, Sanibel - **COMPLETE**

Welcome to our Food Report for our (2016) Halloween/Thanksgiving/Early Christmas holiday to Orlando and Sanibel Island.



We are a family of three - me (April), DH (R.C.) and DS (Poot - who turned 10 on this holiday!). We visited Orlando and Sanibel Island, travelling from Gatwick on BA.




DH has his own business and could only join us for part of the holiday (hence the title of this trippie!). Hes not really a theme park sort of chap, but he enjoys it down on the Gulf Coast.

For our week on Sanibel we were joined by my DM (Judybat) and her husband (Hans).





The Main Trippie Index is Here

Highs and Lows (including Dining Highs and Lows) are Here



During this holiday we were at WDW first WITHOUT and then with the DDP. We then had a week on Sanibel Island (staying in a condo with a full kitchen) and then a week at Portofino Bay (Universal Orlando). We were in Florida for more than a month - that's a LOT of food to talk about!


Day 0 - Dinner at Thyme Restaurant, Premier Inn Gatwick North Terminal



Warning! I forgot to photograph our dessert tonight. A fall right out of the gate...


So the Premier Inn North Terminal is just across the street from North Terminal Departures.




When I used one of the machines for online check-in...





It spit out our (pre-booked) meal deal voucher. For 25 we got dinner, a drink and a dessert - along with breakfast the next morning. The voucher looks like this:





After collecting our paperwork we ducked over to the restaurant (its on the same floor as check-in) to book a table for 6:00 PM. I probably should have booked ahead - we were lucky to grab a table at such a busy time.


For those of you who read my Boston/D.C. trippie - I bet you can guess what Im going to say about our Premier Inn dinner. Yep, thats right...pleasantly disappointing!


I am not one for a big dinner the night before a long-haul flight (I dont get terribly nervous, but I do idle a bit higher). I thought we'd share the food on the meal deal and I'd order more if we were still hungry. As you will discover if you stay with this food report, I have a thing about wasted food...


So Poot picked out a chicken salad and we added on a side of macaroni and cheese. Poot only drinks water, and I had a Diet Coke (brought in a pint glass - yay!).


Chicken Salad:




I laughed out loud when a waiter brought the macaroni and cheese - it came in a bowl the size of a shot glass!


Here it is next to Poots (9 year old) hand:




When we next saw our waitress (she hadnt brought the mac n cheese) she offered to bring us another shot glass full of pasta.

Yes. Everyone is so surprised to see how small the portion is!. Hmm


We passed on the extra pasta - it wasnt very good anyway. The salad was fine, it tasted like one would expect Premier Inn restaurant food to taste.


After dinner we shared a brownie sundae. This was pretty good (hard to screw up a brownie and a scoop of ice cream), but the next time we stay at Gatwick I think well eat at one of the airport restaurants. Maybe Giraffe? I would love some advice - wheres good at Gatwick (we wont have a car)?

As for cost - we were out an extra 2 for the wee macaroni, and I tipped our waitress 15% of the pre-adjusted cost of the meal.


As an aside


Sitting next to us at dinner was a group of four sixty-ish adults, one of whom was REALLY interested in maximising the value of their meal deals. He kept tallying up his companions choices and rejecting the ones that werent winners. I tried (at first, lol) not to listen - but it was pretty funny to hear his companions try to be polite (while they were getting more and more frustrated).


But, Bill - I dont WANT a steak.


Steaks a winner!


But Bill, I want chicken.


If you have chicken you LOSE - and THEY win!


Etc


Now I like saving money, too - but...


Did I think the meal deal was worth it? Well, for us it probably was, but only by a pound or two. I could have made Poot pick a "winner", I guess...

Seriously, though - I do like being able to pre-pay as many things as possible, and that's a big plus of the meal deal.


If you'd like to read my main trip report...

Trip Report Day 0 is Here

Last edited by GopherLass; 26 May 17 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 5 Jan 17, 12:34 PM  
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dismamx2
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Nice start, thank you. I read the D.C. part of your previous trip report and you (and Poot) did a great job.

Looking forward to more
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Old 5 Jan 17, 12:41 PM  
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Originally Posted by dismamx2 View Post
Nice start, thank you. I read the D.C. part of your previous trip report and you (and Poot) did a great job.

Looking forward to more
What timing! - I just logged in to post the next day.

Thanks for your kind words - Poot has a unique perspective!
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Old 5 Jan 17, 01:15 PM  
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Day 1


Breakfast, Thyme, Premier Inn Gatwick North Terminal


We popped back down to Thyme and they checked our name off the master list - our waitress the previous evening had kept the meal deal voucher, but they had all the records at the hostess stand.


I do think that if you have a child who likes to eat then the Premier Inn breakfast is the best deal going. My breakfast was included with the (25) meal deal - Poots was free, as kids breakfast free if an adults breakfast is purchased.


Im sure you all know what an English breakfast looks like, but just in case...





Poot had bacon, a sausage, hash browns, toast and flapjacks (not sure why these were out for breakfast but they seemed to be a hit with the kids!). I had yogurt, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and a crumpet.


I always let myself have a crumpet when Im breakfasting away from home - I cant keep them in my own kitchen ( ), because I will eat ALL THE CRUMPETS





Tiny Snack at The Aspire Lounge, Gatwick North Terminal



The Aspire Lounge:




This was my first time in the Aspire; I thought it was very nice - much quieter than No. 1. All the usual snacks and drinks were on offer - it reminded me of a good airport lounge in America. Still not a patch on the Plaza Premium at Heathrow, though.

Because we would be having lunch on the plane, I didn't check to see if the Aspire does hot food - it didn't look like it? If anyone knows - please tell me.

Poot had a couple of cookies (because like most boys, he is ALWAYS hungry) but I just had some water.




A Note on Pre-Ordering Meals with BA:


We flew World Traveller Plus (PE) and I took advantage of the opportunity to pre-book our in-flight lunches on the BA website. I did this about a week before our flights - I think the booking window is from 30 days to 24 hours before take-off. In Premium, you get to choose from two of the business class meals - in our case it was a choice between beef and chicken.


Lunch, British Airways World Traveller Plus


I went for the beef filet with potatoes and roasted veg. There was also a pretzel roll and (weirdly) a small bowl of couscous. Nothing goes with potatoes like couscous, right?




Poot chose the chicken - it was breast of chicken with a mushroom sauce, turned root vegetables and...more couscous.




I am guessing the dessert was the economy dessert - it was one of those little Lily OBriens chocolate/caramel pots. So tasty...


Both meals were fine. At least I didnt wish wed spent extra money on sandwiches from Boots (which is how I measure the relative tastiness of airline food)!


I really liked being able to order our meals in advance - I am a bit of a fretter, so it was nice to know that they wouldnt be out of the meal I wanted. Lets hope this remains an included benefit to booking in PE and Business. Id hate to see it go upcharge like BA seat selection...


Snack/Tea, British Airways World Traveller Plus


Later in the flight we got the economy snack/tea - chicken caesar sandwiches and KitKats. Poot loves caesar salad - we both thought these were pretty good - but neither of us could finish (though we both managed to finish the KitKat).




Garden Grocer Order, Delivered to POFQ Bell Services


Here is our Garden Grocer order, which we popped in the fridge:




I give Garden Grocer a big thumbs up - we ordered far enough in advance to get 10% off the bill.

Since this is a food report, I'm going to itemise the bill.

We ordered:

1 Box Cereal
1 lb Greek Yogurt
1 Quart Milk
3 Oranges
1 Bag Apples
1 Bag Baby Carrots
1 Massive Pot of Hummus
1 Pack "Natural" Ham
1 Pack Sliced Provolone
1 Huge Bag of Cheddar Popcorn
1 Box Flipsides (Pretzel Crackers, my FAVOURITE!)
1 Bag M&Ms
6 Bottles Diet Dr. Pepper
24 Bottles Water


This cost $75. We stayed six nights at POFQ, and the groceries were enough for breakfast every day - as well as two in-room dinners and a bunch of snacks. We took the leftover water bottles with us to Saratoga. Embarrassingly, I had already finished the soda by then.


Would it have been cheaper to get an Uber to Target and stock up there? Yep, probably. But despite the significant markup (over, say, Target prices) I still found it good value. The food was waiting for us when we checked in and it was exactly what I wanted (and what I knew would be good for us). Much better than wandering around a discount store (exhausted) on arrival night or having to take time away from fun to go grocery shopping the next day. Just my opinion, obviously - I know some Dibbers love that first night visit to Publix!


The week before we left England I picked up some plastic cutlery and paper bowls at Tesco (2). I also ordered some cute Disney Halloween plates and napkins from Amazon (3).




Hotel Picnic Dinner



So, using our themed plates and napkins, we had a little picnic of ham, cheese, hummus and carrots (there may have also been some M&Ms) while we watched Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.



If you'd like to read the non-food activities for today...

Day 1 (Travel to Orlando, Port Orleans French Quarter) is Here

Last edited by GopherLass; 29 Jan 17 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 9 Jan 17, 01:23 PM  
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Day 2


Today breakfast and dinner were eaten in our room at POFQ - I loved having the Garden Grocer order for quick, cheap breakfasts and a couple of dinners when Poot was tired!


Lunch - Earl of Sandwich, Disney Springs


At last! We used to duck into the EoS in the City of London a few times a year - its hard to believe its been closed for almost three years now...


I joined the EoS loyalty (royalty, lol) club before we left England - you get a five dollar credit when you join.




Just bring the number on a bit of paper (or on your phone). The clerk at the cash register will issue you a plastic card and youll be good to go. I have a holiday wallet and I put my EoS card next to my Landrys card.




It was Saturday afternoon; Disney Springs was HEAVING and the Earl was very busy. But they get people through pretty quickly. Poot and I shared The Original 1762:




I love the Original (roast beef, with cheddar and horseradish sauce) - I think its my very favourite EoS sandwich. Crusty bread, melty cheese...


We ordered ours as a combo. The sandwich, chips (kettle-style) and a fountain drink togther cost $10. Poot had tap water, as thats all he likes. Since I picked the sandwich, I let him pick the chips - he went for salt and vinegar (Greedy Guts! - he knows I dont like that kind...).




After the credit was taken off the bill, our lunch cost the princely sum of $5. Woo-hoo!





Now one of the other benefits of the loyalty club is a free brownie on your birthday (I think it was good for the whole of your birthday month?) - but because my birthday is in October (we were there 29/10/16) I had to choose EITHER the $5 credit or the brownie. Should have planned that better.

If you want to read the main trippie for Day 2 (Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney Springs and PINS) - click HERE

Last edited by GopherLass; 29 Jan 17 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 9 Jan 17, 04:38 PM  
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Enjoying your report can't wait for the rest! And a holiday wallet-what a great idea
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Old 10 Jan 17, 02:16 PM  
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Loving this so far! The Aspire Lounge at Manchester Airport does hot food so I would imagine the Gatwick one does too? I love those flapjacks they have at Premier Inns for breakfast
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Old 10 Jan 17, 09:54 PM  
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Following along. Great info re EOS.
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Old 10 Jan 17, 10:07 PM  
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Mmmmm food report really looking forward to the rest!
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Old 10 Jan 17, 10:16 PM  
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Yummy!
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